15 Awesome Ways to Make Money Online in 2020

Last updated on August 10, 2020

making money online

This article contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase!

The topic of making money online is still a hot topic.

The ever-expanding drought in the global employment market plus the yearning of freedom that many people have has pushed people to seek alternative sources of employment.

More importantly, people want alternative sources of making money apart from the traditional white collar jobs, and brick and mortar businesses. 

Allow me to take you through some of the best ways of earning money online. 

1) Freelancing

This is probably one of the most popular forms of online employment.

When you are a freelancer, you pick the tasks that you want to work on and you are not committed to a single employer.

The top available freelancing jobs include writing (academic, article, ghostwriting), transcription (converting video and/or audio to text), virtual assistant jobs, software development jobs and design.

Interested in freelance writing? Get this free workshop on how to build a six-figure writing career.

Need transcription training instead? Get this Free 7-Lesson Transcription Mini Course from Janet Shaugnessy!  Janet has been a professional transcriptionist for more than a decade. Her free e-course will teach you the ins and outs of general transcription.

2) Kindle Publishing

Kindle Direct Publishing is an e-book publishing unit run by Amazon. To put it simply, you can write your own book and publish it there.

You get to sell your e-book to millions of readers across the world. It takes you five minutes to publish your e-book and it goes online in about 48 hours’ time, sometimes less.

The advantages of Kindle publishing are: the e-book can become a form of passive income for life, there are no charges to publish your book and you can post as many e-books as you wish.

However, the cons to it is that when you publish your ebook on the Kindle Direct Publishing platform, you cannot publish it anywhere else BUT Amazon, for a 90-day period.

You also need to pick a good niche and market your book\s aggressively.

3) Domain Flipping

Domain flipping is simply the buying and selling of domains. A domain is more like a website address such as “www.google.com”.

Some people create or buy domain names then keep them, hoping someone will need them and buy from them.

To make money from domain flipping, you have to identify some domains which you think will be easy to sell.

For instance, you can create a domain name such as “workfreedomforever” since more people are looking to become freelancers. 

In the future, an organization/individual might buy the domain name from you for good cash!

A good platform that is a great choice for registering a domain name is namecheap

4) Niche Websites

The other way you can use to make money from home is by creating and running a niche site. By niche, I mean you create a website that will focus on a very specific thing.

That specific thing maybe pet food, health and fitness, or fashion. You then focus on getting good traffic and earn money via Google Adsense or affiliate marketing.

Patrick Mahinge, who shared his story here, is earning well over $10,000 with his niche site on how to sleep better. 

5) Dropshipping

That can’t be right Virginia. How in the world will someone earn money online by dropping ships in the ocean?

Let me explain.

Dropshipping is one of the most interesting online enterprising concepts ever. Most people who dropship use e-bay or  Aliexpress.

When you are a dropshipper, you become an indirect marketer for e-bay (or another online shop). You pick some items which you can afford to pay for and market them.

Let’s say it’s a computer that’s worth $100. You market it and get a client whom you charge $160 for the computer. You pay for the computer and have the supplier deliver it to the client.

After the sale, you will have made a profit of $60.

The advantage of this method is that you don’t need a capital to start and you do not need a physical store, but some of the downsides to this is that there can be shipping delays and sudden stock shortages.

This can happen because you are not the supplier and you are not in control of the inventory.

A popular e-commerce platform that a lot of dropshippers use is Shopify.

You can easily set up your Shopify store and sell anything from cat socks to phone cases. Via the platform, you can also accept payments from your customers and easily track purchases. 

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6) YouTube Videos

This is another way of making money online. You can earn money by having a YouTube channel! (Sorry, not by watching :)).

YouTube will pay you if you have a monetized channel.

By monetizing your channel, I mean that you have to connect it to an AdSense account and you will earn money every time someone watches the videos for at least 30 seconds or clicks on the ads.

Please note that you need to have 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours watch time before ads can be activated on your channel. 

7) Write eBooks and Sell on Facebook

If you never thought that you could make money through Facebook, now there is a way.

Talented authors and designers are continually creating excellent works and marketing them on Facebook.

The best way to earn from Facebook is to join marketing groups and pages or create your own. From there, write juicy books that people would be interested to read.

Once you are established, people will not be afraid to pay you for your books.

The best way to earn from Facebook is to join marketing groups and pages or create your own.

From there, write juicy books that people would be interested to read. Once you are established, people will not be afraid to pay you for your books.

Once you are established, people will not be afraid to pay you for your books.

8) Create and Run Courses

Are you good at something, like really good? This can be cooking, tailoring, academic tutoring, painting lessons and so on.

The good news is that you can create courses online and have people enroll at a fee!

Simply create a perfectly detailed course in text, video or audio and use platforms such Udemy to sell your course.  

You will be surprised at how well this idea might perform as people are ever thirsty for knowledge.

I also found out recently that more online business people are moving to Teachable.

It’s another platform where people can easily sign up for your course.

With a payment gateway put in place, together with sales and marketing tools added, Teachable ensures that you have a seamless way of creating ecourses for your students.  

9) Sell Photos Online

Websites, bloggers, designers, social media personalities, celebrities, and artists are ever hunting for images to use in their daily activities.

However, they cannot go taking photos of them, and that is where you can come in.

You need a good camera or camera phone to start making some good cash online. Take very clear and high quality (HD) images of different things and places.

Shoot the skies, underwater, African jungle, busy cities, animals, upcountry, and other creative things.

Then join photo selling websites such as Shutterstock, PhotoShelter, Fotolia, 123RF and post them there.

The more photos and better quality you present, the more money you can earn.

10) Blogging 

Blogging is a common way of making money online globally.

A blog is more of an informal website which is normally written in a conversational tone and is updated regularly. You’re actually on my blog right now.

Read: How to start a blog – easily!

Create a blog, write great content, market it and aim to get good traffic.

From there, you can sell eBooks or eCourses and other consultancy services at a fee. You can also promote other people’s products and get a commission (affiliate marketing)

11) Sell Your Artsy Stuff On Etsy

The website, Etsy welcomes all creative minds who can make interesting items with their hands to market them there.

They accept a wide range of items; jewelry, toys, art items, clothing, gifts, home décor, digital items and so on.

You can visit the site and get an idea of the items posted by other users.

12) Affiliate Marketing

Another great way to make extra money online is via affiliate marketing.

This is where online businesses affiliate (or associate) themselves with website owners or social media users to market themselves, gain traffic and generate sales.

The online businesses can pay for each new client introduced by the affiliate.

You can become an affiliate to a bigger website or online business if you have a blog, or if you use social media a lot.

One such example is the Payoneer card. I applied for my card via somebody’s link. When I received my first payment of $100, I got paid $25.

The person who’s link I used received $25 too for recommending the card.

Some of these affiliate programs perform so well that people make fortunes out of them.

You can drive many clients to a business and earn a good one-off pay or maintain them as a network and earn a commission whenever they buy from the site.

13) Bitcoin Trading

Let me introduce you to one of the newest ways of making money online: Bitcoin Trading.

Bitcoin is a currency just like the Euro, the US dollar or the Pound, only that it is virtual (can’t be touched, i.e it’s digital).

It is used for online activities where you can buy and sell goods with it, or even get paid with it. There are two ways of earning from it; trading it or mining it.

How you trade bitcoins is by buying them (1 Bitcoin is currently worth $917 at the time of writing this) and keeping them until they gain value and then selling them.

The second method (mining) is more complex as you have to set up your computer to solve some puzzles about Bitcoin and get paid when you successfully solve them.

Bitcoin is harder to steal than cash and is constantly gaining value.

14) Forex Trading

Forex Trading might sound new to most of us but it isn’t. This art has been with us for decades, only that it has been gaining popularity in recent years.

Forex is just about the exchange of currencies, like when you have some dollars that you want to exchange for the British Pound.

Forex traders buy some currencies (e.g. dollars) and predict that its rate will increase in the next 1 hour, day, week, month, etc.

If you predicted correctly, the money you invested will be growing until you decide to stop the trade and take the profits.

Remember that if you predict wrongly, you might lose all your money in a few moments! 

15) Betting

There has been a lot of buzz about this method of making money.

I assume we all have some ideas on what it is. You invest some cash with websites like Betway, or Betin, then predict the outcome of some football matches.

If your bets are correct, you win some money. If any of your bets is incorrect, then you lose the money.

This is one of the most controversial ways of making money. Some people are making fortunes out of it as others lose money and sink into absolute misery.

It is advisable to always calculate your moves before taking monetary risks.

There you go.

The 15 legit ways of making money online.

I’m quite sure that a few of them, or at least one, has caught your eye. Have you made money online in any of the 15 ways mentioned above?

About the author

Virginia Nakitari is a work from home mom passionate about making money online. She's here to show you legitimate companies offering full-time, part-time and remote jobs from home! Stay tuned!

  • Sheerah I enjoyed your article. I have tried many internet marketing businesses without success. I am definitely interested in trying freelance writing and transcription. My weak area is marketing. Learning to make a website with SEO would definitely help.

    • Hello Desiree, Freelance writing and transcription jobs are in plenty, and these are some of the jobs that have a low barrier to entry. You should definitely give it a try. About internet marketing, there are a lot of great tips out there. You can buy a course on Udemy, as well as do your research in YouTube university 🙂

  • Thank you Sheeroh for your insights on online jobs. Are you going to have a seminar again? I currently have a project on perapera for transcribing German language. Am sort of a consultant because I don’t speak German. I just look for people to do it and they are paid by the founder. However I have only this project and I am looking for more. So far it is good and Kenyans who have learned German are really enjoying the fruit of their effort in school. I look forward to attending one of your seminars. Wairimu

    • Perapera… I need to find out more about that organization. Thank for the heads up and I think that’s a smart way of doing things – outsourcing work when you don’t necessarily have the skills or the time. I might have another seminar this year but I will definitely update people via email and via my social media accounts.

  • Thankyou for the well researched , informative, creative, funny and educative article. This helped me and it will help many especially those looking for alternative source of income like me. I will look into it and still consult you for some assistance and support as I take on this journey as it will be my first job online. Any support you offer will be appreciated.

    • When Patrick puts his mind on something, he achieves great things with it. His focus and determination is simply amazing. He is showing all of us that we can do great things online.

  • Thanks for your informative articles Sheeroh. I must say I have gained a lot of knowledge through them. But still, as if this is not enough, I would like to enroll to your e course on transcription. Please advise me on how to go about it.
    And another thing just to add on your list of online ways of getting money. Swagbucks.com. I wonder if it is a genuine way or a scam.

    • Hello Joyce. I have done a bit of research on Swagbucks and it appears to be legit. The only con I can see is that it requires a lot of work for extremely low pay. You are better of investing your time on writing or transcription work. PS: I’m no longer training on transcription 🙂

  • Thank you so much for more ideas. I am a freelancer doing writing and editing work, but this has opened my mind. I’m already working on one.

    Regards,

  • Nice read Sheeroh. Your articles are helpful, informed and well-researched. I have started making some money through transcription and article writing. Keep up the good work!

    • Great to hear that Caroline. As you can see, there’s so much out there, in the online world. All the best in your endeavors.

  • As always Sheeroh, your article is interesting and educative. I have learnt some new ways of making money online that are a must try this year. Currently I’m earning from transcription though I’m on a forced break after losing my laptop….if only there were someone who loans investment money online…haha

  • Thank you Sheeroh for the insight. I was just about to give up having been jobless for a while now. I will definitely try one, or two of these with God’s guidance.
    May He bless the work of your hands.

  • Thanks a lot. i have been into academic writing since 2012 though on and off and soon i will try one of the many ways you have suggested

    • Great! Academic writing is seasonal and trying out one of these ways, especially the ones that will give you passive income, is a very good idea.

  • Good to meet a Kenyan who freely shares what she knows in order to empower others. Kudos to you. I always look forward to your informative pieces. God bless you Sheeroh

  • Thank you Sheeroh, I’m a newbie trying to navigate these murky waters that involve working online. I have been learning a lot from your informative writings and i cannot wait to start making money online. God bless you

  • Hello Sheeroh, been searching for industry gurus … I have found her …you!

    I have been a virtual assistant since 2010, when online work was at its early stages in Africa. I did tremendously poor, hehe, as always with anything new.

    Then, I started scratching my scalp on how to share this information free of charge but sell products(ProductInfo). I never knew how until 2015. Wow, It has been an extremely learning journey for me.

    I have realised, there’s nothing like learning without implementation. And there is no way Kenyans and other online working aspirants can make money online without learning, FIRST.

    I encourage you to learn before you venture in. Marketing, marketing and marketing is also required. Take as many free courses as you can. Always settle for above par jobs … make sure you send your employers excellence. From there, you hear of work speaking for itself, then that is it. Please encourage those starting out.

    I am subscribing to your blog, so awesome information here.

    Thank you.

    Regards,
    Gertrude.

    • Those are great tips Getrude. Learn before you earn, so they say! I love your point about marketing. You can have an amazing skill, but having it alone is not enough. You also need to market it and do so effectively. Please subscribe!

  • Hi sheeroh! i really like your blog for the rich information that you’re providing. I’m just wondering if you’re still providing transcription training: if yes, with how much? thank you!

    • Hello Amos. No, I’m no longer training on transcription. Join the group, Awesome Transcribers in Kenya, it’s a Facebook group, and you’ll get a suitable transcription trainer from the pinned post.

  • I cannot thank you enough for sharing this great insight and specifically tonight when I stumbled on your blog;a unique post since you posted it on my birthday Jan 27.I look forward to tapping much knowledge from you and kudos for the good work.I am hoping to hop into this infinite tech bound writing bandwagon this month and your one-stop shop for enlightenment came in handy.thanks

    • You are welcome James. As you can see, there are so many opportunities online. Keep up the enthusiasm!

  • Hi, Sheeroh thanks, I love this post. The post is candid, up-to-date esp., on what’s trending, informative and very relevant. Thanks for sharing I’m sure many will benefit from it, starting with me 🙂 .
    Best Regards

  • Sheeroh, thank you so much for the selfless advice you have offered, it is truly an eye opener and with the tips provided i purpose to start somewhere now. Am more equipped and ready to face my fears.
    Thanks!

    • Hello Angela. I’ve edited the rest of your comment. Please do not share spam/pyramid scheme links on this blog.

  • This is a great post Sheeroh. I would also add a few.

    1. Tour Guide – Sites like Tours by Locals help locals publish tours in their city and get paid well once they deliver the tour. A tour of Nairobi city Center for a day can one a person about Kshs 10,000/-

    2. Use local classifieds websites – Basically flipping items at a higher price on Olx and PigiaMe

    Thanks.

      • Sheeroh you posted somewhere in this website about receiving payment from Amazon Kindle as a publisher through Payoneer,I have a payoneer account but can’t use it coz there is only option for electronic and check,
        How do you receive your payment incase you are one of the publishers from Kenya,I’d really love to sell ebooks there too

        • Hey Evans,

          Indeed, you can use Payoneer and that is what I use to receive payment from Amazon Kindle. You’ll need to login to your Kindle Publishers account, and in the payment section, under Bank Accounts, enter your bank name, account number and routing number. You’ll find this information under the US Payment Service information in your Payoneer account.

    • Glad you liked it. Yes it is. We even have a Betting Control and Licensing Board that is operational.

      • I saw this somewhere online and I’ve been having questions but no answers…I will be very great full if you can answer me please.

        « When your blog visitors buy a book through your blog based on the reviews you made, you earn a healthy commission from Amazon.com; everybody wins! »

        So I have done his for quite sometime now but I have a lot of problems as to how to receive commissions. The most common way to get ur commission paid to your bank account is by using PayPal. But unfortunately, being in Cameroon, I am not allowed to receive payments on PayPal. I can only send. So what else can I do in this kind of situation ?..thanks..I’ll appreciate a response

        • Hi Alex. Just use Payoneer. It’s an alternative to Paypal and is a common payment option for Amazon Affiliates and other internet marketers. Check out more info on the same here.

  • I tried Domain Flipping and it didn’t work for me. I ended up buying domains that people were no longer interested in buying. It’s a risky business unless you know exactly what you’re doing.

    • I agree Denise. Most internet business models have a simple concept but are not necessarily easy and most importantly, aren’t get-rich-quick schemes.

      • Your article is very understandable. Your post about Upwork’s suspension took me here.

        Since I have an ability to develop websites and my account has been permanently suspended from Upwork, I decided to find out other ways to do freelancing in other websites.
        Fiverr is also a good choice for me?

  • Who will one day tell us that i’m doing this and earning this online?
    Everyone is always learning and no one is earning.
    Anyway selling your passion ideas and what you do best seems like the only way to raise above the rest online.

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